RV-police chase ends in crash, gunfire

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) -- Police opened fire on a suspect who led them on a chase through the streets of Salem in a large RV Saturday afternoon which finally ended near a busy shopping area on NE Hawthorne Avenue with a crash and gunfire.

Just before 1 p.m. police were alerted to a large motorhome speeding and driving erratically on Highway 22 near Lancaster Drive SE. Officers caught up with the motorhome on Kansas Street NE, where the motorhome slammed one patrol car hard enough to deploy the airbags, police said.

The motorhome took off and a different officer spotted it on D Street NE. That patrol car was damaged when the motorhome backed into it and again took off.

Spike strips were deployed and flattened the motorhome's tires. It stopped on Hawthorne Avenue NE near Market Street. The driver, Roy Victor Devoursney of Salem, got out of the motorhome and was Tasered when he didn't comply with officers' commands, police said.

Four Salem police officers fired their guns at the suspect during the incident, riddling the motorhome with bullet holes. Those 4 -- Sergeant James Welsh, Corporal Andrew Connolly, Corporal Mark Seyfried and Officer Pence Hodges -- are all on administrative leave, standard practice in these situations.  Connolly and Seyfried were injured when their patrol cars were hit. They were treated and released at an area hospital.

Devoursney, 61, was taken into custody. A list of charges was not provided by police at this time. He was taken to Salem Health for treatment of injuries he got during the incident, but police said he was not shot.

What neighbors saw and heard

"I was in my house and I heard multiple gunshots," Chelsea Davis told KOIN 6 News. "I ran into my living room and saw a motorhome speeding down D Street with a cop behind it."

Davis took who daughters to the basement for safety.

"I was terrified and I didn't know if there would be more gun shots, and I just thought I needed to get my family safe," Davis said. 

Kendall Tanner called 911 after the RV nearly hit her on Hwy 22.

"Out of nowhere we just saw this big huge RV inches from our mirror," Tanner said. "We had to swerve, otherwise it would have hit us and killed us."

The chase finally stopped on Hawthorne Ave. after the RV rammed 2 patrol cars and caused one to smash into a signpost. The RV ended up riddled with bullet holes and with blown out tires.

Witness Alina Villegas said she saw police pull an older man out of the RV and placed on a stretcher with a neck brace. 

Davis believes she's seen the RV around before. 

"It had been parked in the neighborhood for a couple of weeks," she said. "A relative of a resident in the neighborhood."

The investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call Oregon State Police Regional Communications Center at 503.375.3555. 


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